Fantasy MMA News

May 23, 2019 - Gilbert Burns vs. Alexander Hernandez in August?

Per UFC LW Gilbert Burns, via Twitter -

"Hey @TheGreat155 [Alexander Hernandez] wtf are you doing? Cowboy Cerrone had fought once and he is fighting again! Stop hiding! Get you sh*t together and sign the contract! See you in Uruguay August 10"

Source: bit.ly/2VZpjYL 

May 23, 2019 - Conor Reveals Previously Undisclosed Injury, Strategy Heading into Khabib Fight

Per Conor McGregor, in an interview with Tony Robbins (via Bloody Elbow) -

"Two and a half weeks before my last fight, I threw a front kick at a shooting Moldovan wrestler ... and my two toes, the baby toe and the toe next to it, bent back like this and stuck in that position. My doctor had to come into the cage had to stretch it and break it back into place and my foot swelled like a balloon ... I couldn't road run anymore. I wasn't [fully prepared]. My weight was too high. So when you're cutting weight, if I can't get my weight down because of injuries or what not, I have a more intense weight cut. So I was severely dehydrated. I didn't sleep for 48 hours before the weight cut ...

"My whole approach in that camp - the injuries, the non-commitment, even the game plan, the tactics - I attack, I am an attacker and my attack defends. In this camp, the entire focus was defend, defend. So every round we would start in the training, I'd have my back against the fence. I'd have my back on the floor. I would always put myself in a vulnerable position and as the camp went on, we just became defensive, defensive. That's never been what I do ...

"Since the fight, I've gone back to training with them and I went with my internal dialogue. Not the external dialogue, the dialogue of 'I can't grapple with this man and he's a Russian sambo guy and he's wrestled bears since he was a kid' and all this bullsh-t. That's external. I let the external infiltrate my internal and it filtered into the fight ... But after the bout, I went back and trained with these people and attacked and I mauled them."

Source: t.co/8N5yt0knCr 

Notes Full Interview Video: youtu.be/yMbPj8B0M6M 

May 23, 2019 - Manager: Plan is for Khabib to Fight GSP Later This Year

Per Brett Okamoto, ESPN -

"I asked Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz how close the Poirier fight in Abu Dhabi is, after NSAC shortened his teammates' suspensions today."

Per Abdelaziz - "We are close. Good news coming very soon ... And if all goes to plan, I think Khabib will fight Georges St-Pierre at the end of the year."

Source: bit.ly/2HPJn62 

May 22, 2019 - Khabib's Teammates' Suspensions Reduced, Clearing Way for Poirier Fight

Per John Morgan, MMAjunkie -

"One last hurdle in booking Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier has been cleared ... The Nevada State Athletic Commission today approved a 35-day reduction in the current suspensions of Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov, NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told MMA Junkie. The two fighters are now eligible to return to competition ahead of UFC 242, which is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi - and that means UFC lightweight champ Nurmagomedov, who vowed to not fight again until his teammates were also cleared, can stick to his promise while still appearing in the night's headliner."

Source: t.co/nDXxuxWReR 

May 22, 2019 - UFC Rochester | Post-Event Rankings Update

Per Marcel Dorff, MMA DNA -

Newly Ranked:
- MW #11 I.Heinisch

Dropped From Rankings:
- MW D.Branch
- FLW W.Reis
- FLW J.Morales

Highest Climbers:
- LW #11 C.Oliveira +4
- BW-W #4 A.Ladd +2

Lower in the Ranks:
- LW #9 K.Lee -2

Source: bit.ly/2IZDypT 

Notes Additionally, Dorff notes that the FLW division is down to just 13 contenders, as opposed to the normal 15. This perhaps further indicates a gradual shuttering of the division by the UFC. - MagWar

May 22, 2019 - McGregor Details New Mindset Towards Fight Training & Preparation

Per Conor McGregor, in an interview with Tony Robbins (via Bloody Elbow) -

"For so long, in my mid to late twenties, when I started to acquire wealth and acquire money, I was fascinated with materialistic things. I would buy myself cars, watches ... I switched off on that now. I realized I was spending things on material items and not things on myself, my being, on my fitness, on my health. I've switched that completely.

"My nutritionist travels with me full-time, my doctors, my training partners, my coaches. I have a full team and it's all for health, fitness and peak performance. We've got to be in shape, physically, to be in shape, mentally. I'm putting more time in that ... I actually realized that first when I read that LeBron James, he spends $1.5 million a year on himself. Physical therapists, masseuse, nutritionists, trainers, all of that. When I (saw) that, I said 'I spend zero. I spend zero!'

"When a camp forms for a fight, I'll gather a team of people, we go into the Vegas desert and lock ourselves away for ten weeks and do insanity work. If I'm training back at home during camp. I have fighters locked in a hotel room, waiting, on-call to come and fight me. It's an insane game, but not all-in. It's half way in, it's not all-in ... If you're in a game, make sure you're in it all the way, all-in with it, and then that game will be your game. That's where I am right now ... I've only taken this philosophy recently. Like I said, I've had dips, lapses in motivation, dips in commitment. But I'm figuring it all out and I'm feeling good, and I'm in a good place."

Source: t.co/kVO1bXhlvO 

Notes Full Interview Video: youtu.be/yMbPj8B0M6M 

May 21, 2019 - Cody Stamann Throws Shade at Sugar Sean

Per Cody Stamann, via Bloody Elbow -

"Sean O'Malley is obviously a bigger ticket seller than I am. I'm just a dumb country boy from Sparta. O'Malley's really cool and he smokes pot and plays video games and that's really cool. So more people want to watch him fight than watch me fight ... I understand why and I don't get bitter by it, but I'm speaking the truth. The kid is going to be protected. Anyone can see that he's not fighting the guys I'm fighting. I fought the number eight guy in the world in my third UFC fight. He's going to have an easier path, but that's the great thing about MMA. Eventually, if you have a weakness and you're a dork you're going to get exposed. Eventually he's going to have to fight somebody like me."

Source: t.co/WWf79PF2zF 

May 21, 2019 - Gaethje on Future Plans, State of LW Division

Per Justin Gaethje, via ESPN -

On whom he'd like to fight next:

"I'm ranked No. 5 right now. There are four guys and the champion in front of me. I'm looking for one of those guys, and I'm looking for a big fight this summer. I don't want to fight guys ranked behind me ... Conor McGregor is No. 3 right now. If it's not him, there's not an open fight right now. So, that's the fight I want ... He's the only guy ranked ahead of me that doesn't have a fight. He needs a fight to get back to the title shot. That's me."

On being offered to fight Tony Ferguson on short notice:

"[The UFC] called me and wanted me to do it in four weeks. My coach [Trevor Wittman] was going to be out of town for two of those weeks. The way that I fight, man, I'd be a fool to work as hard as I have my whole life to get here, and compromise myself taking a fight like that ... I said, 'Let's do July 6 instead,' and obviously we know what happened [Donald Cerrone was matched with Ferguson instead].

His predictions for upcoming high profile LW fights:

"I don't give [Dustin] Poirier much of a shot [vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov]. Maybe a 16 percent shot. I think Khabib is going to take him down immediately, or create some kind of scramble immediately. I don't think Poirier stops his takedowns ... Tony [Ferguson] beats [Cerrone] up. Tony's better. Tony is just better than Cowboy ... Probably [Anthony] Pettis winning [vs. Nate Diaz]. It's been a long time since Nate fought; that doesn't help. Pettis has a lot of confidence right now off that last win [against Stephen Thompson]. He's probably training hard every day now that he's got this roll going."

Source: t.co/qtok3fsRpa 

May 21, 2019 - Cyborg Eager to Get Next Fight, Become Free Agent Afterward

Per Cris Cyborg, via MMAjunkie -

"You know I haven't fought, one fight in 16 months. And they make me wait nine months for Amanda, and then when they pass over that fight, five months, and then too long to fight for me ... When [Felicia Spencer's] calling me out I said cool, let's fight. I already have asked for fights two months after Amanda fight just to be ready and be prepared ... I have one fight left ... I'm going to be a free agent after that."

Source: t.co/CknHM2Ck2d 

May 21, 2019 - Manager Abdelaziz Talks Edgar, Khabib, Conor, Garbrandt and Cejudo

Per Ali Abdelaziz, via MMA Fighting -

- On Frankie Edgar getting the next FW title shot:

"Alex Volkanovski is an amazing fighter, great kid. You can't say anything bad about him. But listen, Frankie has been in this company for 10 years, he got passed over so many times ... I said [to the UFC], 'Guys, listen. This is the deal. Frankie went out there and got a win. He's been such a great guy and he deserves this title shot' ... I made my case, and they said, 'For the first time, you are right. We're in' ... It's a bigger fight. I think, also timing, the UFC is talking about going to Australia, right? When you save this fight card for Australia [at UFC 243], you have Max or Frankie fighting Alex. It's timing too."

On Khabib vs. Poirier:

"I think it's going well. But the fight is not finalized yet. [UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September] would be a good date for Khabib to come back. Khabib, he gave me - he wants to fight September, December, and April. These are the three dates he gave me ..."

- On Conor McGregor jumping the line for a rematch with Khabib:

"You have a lot of lightweight fights coming up ... but it's funny, because if Conor went out there and got a win, he might over-leap all these guys again. He wanted a rematch. We said no. Khabib said no, he said it publicly: 'No, he's not getting a rematch. You've got to go out there and just get a win' ... Everybody knows that's the biggest money fight you can make, and the UFC's a company to make money. Conor got a rematch every time he lost, right, outside Floyd. But in a way, I don't think he deserves it."

- On Cody Garbrandt declining offer to fight in hometown at UFC Sacramento in July:

"When you get knocked out like that, I don't think you should be fighting [without taking some time off]. The UFC is doing their job, they're going to Sacramento, they offered Cody a main event spot - and this is the right thing to do for the UFC, but it's our job to be like, 'You know what, guys? We're going to go back [and take some time].' Cody's been having problems with his hand. Especially getting knocked out like that, I think your brain needs a break ... I think he needs to get himself right, physically and mentally. And I think we're going to see a lot of changes coming up, the way he's going to fight ... I think it's more mental for Cody than anything else, than skill level. Cody has unbelievable jiu-jitsu, he has unbelievable grappling, unbelievable wrestling. But we don't see it, right? You will see Cody come again, but he's going to come right."

- On Henry Cejudo getting the next BW title shot:

"[The UFC] promised Henry: 'You beat [T.J. Dillashaw], you're going to go up to '35' ... There was a verbal agreement, and when these guys give me a verbal agreement, they don't go back on it ... He went there and knocked [Dillashaw] out. Now, how are you going to tell Henry, 'I'm not going to give you a title shot?' You can't, because you promised him."

Source: t.co/hTM9L1H920 

May 21, 2019 - Helwani Show Updates: Woodley's Hand Injury | Andrade on SW-W Title Landscape

Per Tyron Woodley -

"In my career -- I've been fighting since 2005 -- it's the first time I've been committed to a fight and had to be real with myself. Pray I do not [need surgery] ... [An injury to his thumb while fighting Darren Till last September] popped the bone up -- it didn't break it -- but that's where all of the ligaments are attached. My hand was basically a state of dislocation. Just extreme pain ... It got to a point where I was like, 'Am I really going to be able to do [the Lawler] fight? Am I going to avoid properly rehabbing my hand again and maybe further damaging it?'"

Per Jessica Andrade -

"[Rose Namajunas] did a nice act of kindness to me by going to Rio to defend her belt. She had no obligation to do that ... I know she's figuring some stuff out. But if she wants to do it, I would be happy to go to Denver and do it in her hometown, just the same that she did it for me ...

"[If not a Namajunas rematch next] Probably the winner of Nina [Ansaroff] and Tatiana [Suarez] would be the most worthy of the next title fight ... As much as I would like to have the rematch [with Joanna Jedrzejczyk], I don't think it would be fair at this moment because she is 1-2 at strawweight since we last fought. There are so many girls putting in so much work and climbing up the ranks that I don't think it would be fair for her to just bypass everybody."

Source: ESPN t.co/gwBE8bSeSK 

May 20, 2019 - Ladd, Kunitskaya Agree to Fight Via Social Media

Per Aspen Ladd and Yana Kunitskaya, via Twitter, after Ladd called out Kunitskaya for her next fight, following her win last weekend at UFC Rochester -

Kunitskaya: "@AspenLaddMMA hey!!! Congrats I think we can show awesome fight. If u can wait [for] me I will be [allowed] to fight end of September!!!"

Ladd: "Appreciate your response and your willingness to follow through ... let's now leave it in the hands of the [UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard] along with the managers to make this fight ... September it is"

Source: bit.ly/2VEPqzj 

May 20, 2019 - Michel Pereira Excited to Show More After Electric UFC Debut

Per new UFC fighter Michel Pereira, who absolutely murked Danny Roberts at UFC Rochester last weekend -

"I've always dreamed about this moment. I've fought a lot for this moment. Today, it became reality. My biggest dream has always been to fight in the UFC. I was very emotional and happy to be in there. I've dreamed about this every day ... I've had better fights than this. I fought very little in there. I couldn't even show half of my skills. I still have a lot of fantastic moves to show the UFC fans ... I'd like to fight with the best. I don't choose opponents. I want to be the new showman in the UFC. This is who I am."

Source: Sherdog bit.ly/2JWqJfI 

May 20, 2019 - VanZant Resumes Sparring | Expected to Return to UFC in August

Per Brett Okamoto, ESPN -

"Quick update on Paige VanZant. She resumed sparring this weekend, for the first time in months. The arm injury that's given her issues this last year is responding well. She's close to talking to UFC about a return fight. Mid-August is a reasonable expectation."

Source: bit.ly/2wdzoC6 

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